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12” mortars at Fort Stevens Oregon

This picture was taken by Uncle Thurlow’s brother Max in the 1930’s. These 12”mortars (along with the 10 inch guns at Battery Russell) might of sunk Japanese sub I-25 which was shelling the area back in 1942, but the new commander relied on the radar on the Washington side to determine the sub’s position instead of the plotting people at Fort Stevens. The Fort Stevens Coast Artillery was the best in the nation and the plotting people had that sub in range for a brief moment but the new commander refused to fire at it in fear of giving away our positions. The troops were so disgusted with him that many went AWOL and got drunk. The old commander would of said “Shoot at those bastards, even if we don’t hit them!!!” My good friend Harry Duncan, who lead the Band of the 249th, said the Japanese shelled the new dugout at the baseball field just in front of Battery Russell. Uncle Thrulow was at Battery Russell that day and Aunt Mabel, who was at Fort Columbia on the Washington side, thought it was just the guns of Battery Russell in practice fire. I (Bruce Stennett) have a piece of the shrapnel from a Japanese 6" shell. A wicked looking piece of steel it is. Harry Duncan also said we had Japanese naval cadets touring Fort Stevens and Battery Russell back in the ‘30’s so they knew where everything was anyway!!

Our Uncle Thurlow went on to the South Pacific, as did Uncle Norman, who was in the Navy preparing for the invasion of Japan. Uncle Thurlow fought the Japs with 105 mm fire, blasting them out of their tunnels in the Phillippines.   Uncle Thurlow would chuckle when he talked about those days.

Owner of originalBruce Stennett
PlaceFort Stevem, Oregon
File nameIMG_0003.jpg
File Size83.63k
Dimensions432 x 600
Linked toStennett, B.N.; Wauchope, Thurlow

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